Happy Birthday to Me

Andrea Freedman

As my dad’s birthday is only two days before mine, my family usually gets together in between the two dates to celebrate. Recently, that time of year rolled around once again. Something made me ask my dad if there was anyone who had not called him this year to wish him happy birthday.

“I’d rather focus on who did call me, not who didn’t,” he said. When I thought about my wise father’s response, I realized he made a lot of sense.

While it is nice to get phone calls on your birthday from well-wishers, there are certain people who, for one reason or another, either choose not to call or simply forget.

There have been times I have resolved to stop wishing some people happy birthday, since they don’t bother doing the same for me. However, by the time that person’s birthday rolls around, it is more likely than not that I will end up calling them as I always have. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if you genuinely want to extend good wishes to someone, it need not be contingent upon whether or not they think to do the same for you.

The bottom line is everyone has to do what makes them feel comfortable, even if that includes wishing someone happy birthday, regardless of whether or not they ever reciprocate.

In most cases, I don’t think there is any malice or ill-will if someone forgets or just doesn’t get around to calling. Nevertheless, I have known some folks who end up feeling sad and let down every single year on their birthday, as they are counting on others who, in their opinions, just don’t measure up.

I have come to the conclusion that the trick to enjoying your birthday is not to let it depend on the actions of others.

The fact is it is up to each of us to make the most of our own birthdays. There is really no point in wasting your birthday keeping a tally of who calls you and who doesn’t. If one puts the fate of his or her birthday – or any day for that matter – into others’ hands, he or she is more than likely to be disappointed.

As it turned out, I had a lovely birthday this year. The people closest to me made me feel special, and I was happy with how my day turned out. Hopefully, it will set a positive tone for the upcoming year.

The next time your birthday rolls around, hopefully you will be too busy having fun to notice or care who doesn’t call. If anyone remembers, think of it as a bonus; but no matter what, celebrate yourself, and embrace the good things in your life … like having another birthday.♦



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on May 3, 2014, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. There will always be someone who forgets your birthday for whatever reason and I think that you have the right idea in remembering that the people in your life who are closest to you have a good reason to celebrate the day that you were born, and also, that you always feel happy about yourself no matter what happens in life. Celebrate “YOU”


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